When you are shopping for a house, your real estate agent can make the process of finding a home, negotiating with the sellers, and closing the deal much easier. Even if you are a first-time homebuyer, whether you use an agent is up to you. 

Do you need a real estate agent to buy a home? Not necessarily. There’s no law preventing you from purchasing a home without one. Many home buyers navigate the journey on their own. However, it can be more difficult to purchase a home without a real estate agent. 

Does Buying a House Without An Agent Save Money?

It may save you money to buy a house without an agent, but only if the seller agrees to reduce the selling price of the home. Real estate agent fees typically make up 5% to 6% of the selling price of the home. The agent representing the seller and your agent will typically split the fees. While there are fees involved with an agent selling a home, keep in mind that as the buyer you do not pay a fee to be represented by the real estate agent. The fees are involved when selling the home – not during the process of looking at homes with a real estate agent.

So if you want to buy a home without a real estate agent, you could ask the seller to reduce the price of the home by 3% when you write your offer, since they won’t be responsible for paying that money to your agent. Unless you can negotiate savings with the seller, forgoing an agent’s services doesn’t actually save you money as a homebuyer! 

Things To Consider When Buying A House Without A Real Estate Agent 

Buying a house without a buyer’s agent could present challenges. Here are some of the most important advantages to working with a professional throughout the home buying process: 

  1. An agent can help you negotiate a lower price. A real estate agent working for the buyer in a negotiation can offer valuable insight about whether a home is overpriced according to the market conditions, the home’s location and the home’s attributes. When you use a real estate agent, you’ll have a professional negotiator on your side to help you get the most out of your home buying budget. Your agent can help make sure you don’t pay too much for your new home. 
  2. A real estate agent can save you time. Searching for the right home, even with advanced online tools and sites like Realtor.com and Zillow, is time-consuming. If you decide not to work with an agent, you’ll have to contact the seller’s agent on your own to work out a time to walk through homes. When it’s time to write an offer, you’ll handle the back-and-forth of negotiation as well. 
  3. Real estate agents have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS). Agents have access to every listing on the MLS, even before aggregating sites publish the address and photos for new listings. 
  4. An agent understands the mortgage process. Your real estate agent can help you understand what’s going on throughout the process of purchasing your home. Whether it’s a letter from your loan officer about your credit, a problem with the home inspection, or understanding the appraisal process, your real estate agent is there to help explain these situations.
  5. Real estate professionals have a professional network. Your agent works with other professionals in the area on a daily basis. Their contacts in your local area may help you negotiate with tough sellers, find the right mortgage broker, or get access to newly listed homes.

What To Expect If You Choose To Buy a Home Without An Agent 

Without help from a real estate agent, you’ll take on the bulk of the responsibility of communicating with real estate agents showing homes in the area. In addition to finding homes that may meet your needs and fit with your budget, you’ll handle all negotiations with the seller’s real estate agent. 

Real estate agents have extensive experience negotiating home prices, and without a real estate agent, you’ll be in charge of working through the back-and-forth process of coming to an agreeable price and terms. 

There’s a lot of paperwork involved in real estate transactions, and your real estate agent can alert you to potential problems. They can also help you find a good inspector and trustworthy contractors since they consistently work with these service providers. 

Without a real estate agent, you’ll have to research and understand every phase of the home buying process. There’s a lot at stake, so it could be a stressful process without help from an expert. 

How To Buy A House Without A Real Estate Agent 

Buying a home without realtor

 

Buying a home without help from a real estate agent is a viable option. Start by getting preapproved for a mortgage loan. Preapproval allows you to make an offer on a home that a seller can take seriously since a lender has offered to provide your mortgage up to a certain amount. 

It’s also important to get preapproved so you understand your budget and can concentrate on finding a home that meets your needs and that you can afford. 

Getting Preapproved For A Mortgage 

Preapproval is typically a straightforward process that’s much less intense than getting final approval on a

When you are shopping for a house, your real estate agent can make the process of finding a home, negotiating with the sellers, and closing the deal much easier. Even if you are a first-time homebuyer, whether you use an agent is up to you. 

Do you need a real estate agent to buy a home? Not necessarily. There’s no law preventing you from purchasing a home without one. Many home buyers navigate the journey on their own. However, it can be more difficult to purchase a home without a real estate agent. 

Does Buying a House Without An Agent Save Money?

It may save you money to buy a house without an agent, but only if the seller agrees to reduce the selling price of the home. Real estate agent fees typically make up 5% to 6% of the selling price of the home. The agent representing the seller and your agent will typically split the fees. While there are fees involved with an agent selling a home, keep in mind that as the buyer you do not pay a fee to be represented by the real estate agent. The fees are involved when selling the home – not during the process of looking at homes with a real estate agent.

So if you want to buy a home without a real estate agent, you could ask the seller to reduce the price of the home by 3% when you write your offer, since they won’t be responsible for paying that money to your agent. Unless you can negotiate savings with the seller, forgoing an agent’s services doesn’t actually save you money as a homebuyer! 

Things To Consider When Buying A House Without A Real Estate Agent 

Buying a house without a buyer’s agent could present challenges. Here are some of the most important advantages to working with a professional throughout the home buying process: 

  1. An agent can help you negotiate a lower price. A real estate agent working for the buyer in a negotiation can offer valuable insight about whether a home is overpriced according to the market conditions, the home’s location and the home’s attributes. When you use a real estate agent, you’ll have a professional negotiator on your side to help you get the most out of your home buying budget. Your agent can help make sure you don’t pay too much for your new home. 
  2. A real estate agent can save you time. Searching for the right home, even with advanced online tools and sites like Realtor.com and Zillow, is time-consuming. If you decide not to work with an agent, you’ll have to contact the seller’s agent on your own to work out a time to walk through homes. When it’s time to write an offer, you’ll handle the back-and-forth of negotiation as well. 
  3. Real estate agents have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS). Agents have access to every listing on the MLS, even before aggregating sites publish the address and photos for new listings. 
  4. An agent understands the mortgage process. Your real estate agent can help you understand what’s going on throughout the process of purchasing your home. Whether it’s a letter from your loan officer about your credit, a problem with the home inspection, or understanding the appraisal process, your real estate agent is there to help explain these situations.
  5. Real estate professionals have a professional network. Your agent works with other professionals in the area on a daily basis. Their contacts in your local area may help you negotiate with tough sellers, find the right mortgage broker, or get access to newly listed homes.

What To Expect If You Choose To Buy a Home Without An Agent 

Without help from a real estate agent, you’ll take on the bulk of the responsibility of communicating with real estate agents showing homes in the area. In addition to finding homes that may meet your needs and fit with your budget, you’ll handle all negotiations with the seller’s real estate agent. 

Real estate agents have extensive experience negotiating home prices, and without a real estate agent, you’ll be in charge of working through the back-and-forth process of coming to an agreeable price and terms. 

There’s a lot of paperwork involved in real estate transactions, and your real estate agent can alert you to potential problems. They can also help you find a good inspector and trustworthy contractors since they consistently work with these service providers. 

Without a real estate agent, you’ll have to research and understand every phase of the home buying process. There’s a lot at stake, so it could be a stressful process without help from an expert. 

How To Buy A House Without A Real Estate Agent 

Buying a home without help from a real estate agent is a viable option. Start by getting preapproved for a mortgage loan. Preapproval allows you to make an offer on a home that a seller can take seriously since a lender has offered to provide your mortgage up to a certain amount. 

It’s also important to get preapproved so you understand your budget and can concentrate on finding a home that meets your needs and that you can afford. 

Getting Preapproved For A Mortgage 

Preapproval is typically a straightforward process that’s much less intense than getting final approval on a mortgage after a seller accepts your offer. You’ll answer questions about your income, assets, debts and the home you’d like to purchase. After a quick credit check, the lender will let you know your interest rate range and maximum payment amount so you’ll know how much money you can spend on your new home. 

Researching Neighborhoods 

When you find an area where you think you’d like to live, conduct careful research about neighborhood schools, crime rates, and other attributes you may value. Many homebuyers look for a neighborhood that offers access to public transportation, walkability, and solid resale value. 

Finding A Home 

Search for a home in the neighborhoods you’ve chosen that fall within your budget. In addition to making a list of things you’d like in your new home (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, yard, fence, newer roof, nice view, etc.), create a list of deal-breakers. Contact the listing agent to arrange a showing when you find homes you are interested in seeing first-hand. 

Touring Homes Of Interest 

When you see a home for the first time, take notes about the condition of the property and write down any questions as they come up. Ask to see the seller’s disclosures to find out if the home is sold in “as is” condition or if the sellers are aware of any updates or repairs required during the time they’ve lived in the home. 

Here’s what you may find on a seller’s disclosure: 

  • Toxins in soil; results of soil tests
  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • History of damage from termites or other insects
  • Lead paint, asbestos, or radon presence

Sellers must tell potential buyers about any issues they know of, but they could avoid disclosing potentially negative information unless required by state law.

Making An Offer 

When you find the home you want to buy, it’s time to make an offer. When pricing a home, consider other homes in the neighborhood with similar attributes that have sold recently. Look at their prices to come up with a fair offer. Making an initial offer that’s a bit lower than the seller’s asking price gives you room to negotiate. When you write an offer letter, include your full legal name as well as the name of anyone buying the home with you. State the amount of money you are offering along with any contingencies, such as the requirement that the home passes an inspection before you complete the sale. 

Indicate seller concessions such as cash toward closing or discount points, as well. Include the date you’d like to close the sale and the date you prefer to move into the home. Give the seller a deadline to respond to your offer. You’ll negotiate the home’s price and terms with the seller’s real estate agent unless the home is for sale by owner. 

Hiring A Home Inspector And A Lawyer 

Even though you don’t have a real estate agent, you’ll still need help from a few key experts. Your home must be inspected by a licensed professional who can point out any potentially expensive or dangerous problems with the home. The inspector will look closely at the home’s systems and structural integrity. 

If your home inspector finds problems with the home, you can use that information to negotiate further with the seller. It’s common for a potential buyer to ask a homeowner to make necessary repairs before closing the sale or offer the buyer a cash settlement to complete the repairs. In some states, you must hire a real estate attorney to help finalize the sale and transfer the title. Even if it’s not required, consider asking a real estate attorney to look through the paperwork and identify any legal gray areas. It’s important to understand that many banks and credit unions, including Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, have a list of approved attorneys they use who are familiar with the financial institution’s representatives and closing process. So make sure to check with your financial institution to see if there is a requirement to use one of their approved real estate attorneys. 

Finalize The Sale And Close 

Your lender requires a home appraisal, and as soon as they approve that paperwork and your application clears the underwriting process, your lender will send a Closing Disclosure. You can inspect the disclosure to make sure that the loan terms are as expected. After you approve the disclosure, you can set up a time to sign closing documents and prepare to move into your new home. 

If you choose to buy a home without help from a real estate agent, you’ll have to take extra time and care to complete the process. While there are few instances when it makes sense to attempt to purchase a home without help from a real estate agent, if you choose to do so, be sure to lean on other qualified professionals like your real estate attorney and home appraiser to help you avoid problems later on. Qualifying for a mortgage is just one part of buying a home. Check out our home buyer guide to learn more about how to find and purchase your ideal home.

after a seller accepts your offer. You’ll answer questions about your income, assets, debts and the home you’d like to purchase. After a quick credit check, the lender will let you know your interest rate range and maximum payment amount so you’ll know how much money you can spend on your new home. 

Researching Neighborhoods 

When you find an area where you think you’d like to live, conduct careful research about neighborhood schools, crime rates, and other attributes you may value. Many homebuyers look for a neighborhood that offers access to public transportation, walkability, and solid resale value. 

Finding A Home 

Search for a home in the neighborhoods you’ve chosen that fall within your budget. In addition to making a list of things you’d like in your new home (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, yard, fence, newer roof, nice view, etc.), create a list of deal-breakers. Contact the listing agent to arrange a showing when you find homes you are interested in seeing first-hand. 

Touring Homes Of Interest 

When you see a home for the first time, take notes about the condition of the property and write down any questions as they come up. Ask to see the seller’s disclosures to find out if the home is sold in “as is” condition or if the sellers are aware of any updates or repairs required during the time they’ve lived in the home. 

Here’s what you may find on a seller’s disclosure: 

  • Toxins in soil; results of soil tests
  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • History of damage from termites or other insects
  • Lead paint, asbestos, or radon presence

Sellers must tell potential buyers about any issues they know of, but they could avoid disclosing potentially negative information unless required by state law.

Making An Offer 

When you find the home you want to buy, it’s time to make an offer. When pricing a home, consider other homes in the neighborhood with similar attributes that have sold recently. Look at their prices to come up with a fair offer. Making an initial offer that’s a bit lower than the seller’s asking price gives you room to negotiate. When you write an offer letter, include your full legal name as well as the name of anyone buying the home with you. State the amount of money you are offering along with any contingencies, such as the requirement that the home passes an inspection before you complete the sale. 

Indicate seller concessions such as cash toward closing or discount points, as well. Include the date you’d like to close the sale and the date you prefer to move into the home. Give the seller a deadline to respond to your offer. You’ll negotiate the home’s price and terms with the seller’s real estate agent unless the home is for sale by owner. 

Hiring A Home Inspector And A Lawyer 

Even though you don’t have a real estate agent, you’ll still need help from a few key experts. Your home must be inspected by a licensed professional who can point out any potentially expensive or dangerous problems with the home. The inspector will look closely at the home’s systems and structural integrity. 

If your home inspector finds problems with the home, you can use that information to negotiate further with the seller. It’s common for a potential buyer to ask a homeowner to make necessary repairs before closing the sale or offer the buyer a cash settlement to complete the repairs. In some states, you must hire a real estate attorney to help finalize the sale and transfer the title. Even if it’s not required, consider asking a real estate attorney to look through the paperwork and identify any legal gray areas. It’s important to understand that many banks and credit unions, including Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, have a list of approved attorneys they use who are familiar with the financial institution’s representatives and closing process. So make sure to check with your financial institution to see if there is a requirement to use one of their approved real estate attorneys. 

Finalize The Sale And Close 

Your lender requires a home appraisal, and as soon as they approve that paperwork and your application clears the underwriting process, your lender will send a Closing Disclosure. You can inspect the disclosure to make sure that the loan terms are as expected. After you approve the disclosure, you can set up a time to sign closing documents and prepare to move into your new home. 

If you choose to buy a home without help from a real estate agent, you’ll have to take extra time and care to complete the process. While there are few instances when it makes sense to attempt to purchase a home without help from a real estate agent, if you choose to do so, be sure to lean on other qualified professionals like your real estate attorney and home appraiser to help you avoid problems later on. Qualifying for a mortgage is just one part of buying a home. Check out our home buyer guide to learn more about how to find and purchase your ideal home.